Repatriation

I recognize myself in the Benin Bronzes. An object in motion, stolen and dispersed, rooted in displacement. A transient experience of physicality in which I belong everywhere and nowhere. But through memory of where I came from and who I am, I'm beginning to better understand where I’m going.


Repatriation


I reclaim what is mine


I close my eyes and leave behind this

Pillaged place from a distant time


Bare, prostrate across the floor

I stare into the void

Yearning for more


Yearning for return

I take my lonely first step


I’m being called back home...


By my mother’s father’s father’s mother

whom whispers clairvoyance upon my ear

The way my blood vessels surge

when her Àṣẹ comes near


Sparks upon my fingertips

Flames upon my lips

I sing songs of lighting

I channel thunder in my hips


How slow goes the time

When you feel no need to wait

The muscles of my waist quiver

Upon dreams of heaven’s gate


I carefully tend to the energy

that runs up my spine

I’m making moves back to heaven

I reclaim what is mine


We are the warriors, the nurturers, the blacksmiths

We are the shepherds, the carpenters, the healers


We are the oracle

Who sees from between the brow

The keeper of bees

The farmer and the plough


We are the most ancient of old

Constantly made anew

Polished relics of bronze

A scattered loot


And despite the doom

I can still see the Ọba’s room


A royal pedestal

A niche within which I divinely fit


Our likeness inspired the avant garde

Our rhythm’s been appropriated near and far


Don't they know what we been through?

Don't they recognize who we are?


We are the warriors, the nurturers, the blacksmiths

Who conjure magic from the soil

The shepherds, the carpenters, the healers

Who turn water into oil


We are an immortal energy

that needs no nation


It’s time we return to Heaven

It’s time for Repatriation



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